As with most things, you’re only as good as your Plan B… some would argue even your Plan D, but let’s ease into all this.
For your training plan, it’s best to set (at least) two goals before you even lace up your sneakers - one based on a good race day when conditions are prime and you feel your best, while the other is for if you come up against the unforeseen… wind, heat, or simply feeling off your mark.
Hard truth, the odds of you having your ideal race day are slim. There are so many variables that need to align - environmental, physical, mental - that chances are something isn’t going to quite go your way.
And that’s all right because you have a Plan B.
When landing on your goals, I recommend shooting for the moon with Plan A - this is the sparkle in your eye as you train and muster moxie for those first few miles. For example, it may be achieving your personal best, such as qualifying for the Boston Marathon or finishing in sub-5 hours.
That secondary goal should be enough to get one foot in front of the other at mile 22 when things aren’t going your way. For example, it may shift to finishing in the top 50% of your age group, slowing by less than 10 minutes compared to your first half, or just making it across the darn finish line.
Prepare as best you can, adapt if you must and, above all else, don’t give up.
Similar to marathon prep, everyone has a Plan A when it comes to their finances. In the context of life insurance, most often it is as simple as not dying. But what happens if instead, your life is taken too soon? Is your family protected?
Let’s look at investing. Plan A typically involves putting money in and watching it grow year over year - certainly not losing money in a market correct. But what if the market plummets, and you are currently taking 5% off your portfolio? Now that 5% withdrawal might be closer to 8-10%.
The takeaway here is that successful retirements start with Plan A, but are built on Plan B (C, D, E, and F…). This approach isn’t meant to discourage you, but to take as many risks as we can - inflation, tax, market volatility, age, circumstance - off the table.
The power of risk removal lies in minimizing the chance that you will have to default to Plan B - but it’s the piece of mind knowing that you can still reach your goals if the wind picks up or you get a cramp at mile 15.
When it comes to your finances, call in the financial advisor to map out your Plan A, B, C and so on. You’ll be running into our arms once you cross that retirement finish line, I assure you.